Dec 17, 2020

Tweaking two genes in cotton doubles crop yields—and may do the same in wheat, rice and corn

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics

“The research was conducted by overexpressing two different genes, the AVP1 and OsSIZ1.”


One group of Texas Tech University researchers has found a way to double fiber yield for cotton in semi-arid areas like that of West Texas, where drought, heat and salinity are working against farmers.

Hong Zhang is a professor of Plant Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology at Texas Tech. A few years ago, his group published a paper showing that he could increase cotton yield by 35%-40% in dryland conditions.

But he has continued to work on different genetic changes to cotton that could lead to even better results, and a new paper published in “Plant Biotechnology Journal” in September details those results. During Zhang’s first year of experimenting with a new set of genetic modifications, the fiber yield from cotton crops was up 133%.

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